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Public Media Leader Rick Schneider Named WETA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

ARLINGTON, VA — WETA President and Chief Executive Officer Sharon Percy Rockefeller announced today the selection of Rick Schneider as the next WETA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  Currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Television Foundation of South Florida, which operates Miami public television station WPBT, Schneider will join WETA in late September and succeed Joseph B. Bruns, who is retiring after 13 years in the post.

“I am delighted that Rick will be joining WETA,” said Rockefeller. “I have worked alongside him in public broadcasting’s national organizations and I know firsthand that Rick’s strong management experience is matched by his true dedication to public media.  He brings with him superb knowledge of the national public broadcasting landscape and the complexities of managing a major-market station, and he shares our profound commitment to public service.”

As Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Schneider will report to Rockefeller and work closely with her and the rest of the WETA executive management team to set the strategic direction of the organization.  The EVP/COO at WETA directly supervises senior managers; develops business policy regarding television and radio productions and other content-related activities; and oversees the company’s financial and administrative operations, local television and radio operations, fundraising via development and marketing, engineering and technical operations, communications, information technology, educational enterprises, and community and government relations.

“I am honored and very pleased to be joining WETA and working closely with Sharon,” Schneider said.  “As the flagship station in public media, WETA is an incredibly dynamic organization respected nationally for its programming and community service.  I look forward to working with the talented staff, dedicated Board of Trustees, loyal supporters, and larger Washington community to build on that strong foundation.”

Schneider brings a wealth of public media management experience to the new position.  He has served in the top post at WPBT for the past nine years; he was the president and general manager of KNPB-TV in Reno for six years; and previously he was station manager at WUFT-TV, the University of Florida public television station.  Schneider’s professional service to national and regional public broadcasting organizations includes two terms as a member of the PBS Board, and vice-chair of that entity; chair-elect of the Public Television Major Market Group; past chair of the Board of Directors of Florida Public Broadcasting, and past chair of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Mountain Network.

Schneider began his career as a broadcast journalist, including as a reporter for WPTV in West Palm Beach and WPIX-TV in New York City, as a Washington Bureau correspondent for the Post-Newsweek Stations, and as news director at WUFT-TV.  He is a graduate of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and earned a Masters’ Degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Rockefeller chose Schneider following a national search conducted by Ron Bornstein of NETA Consulting.

WETA is the leading public broadcasting company in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM.  The company has an annual operating budget of $70 million, more than 200 employees, and over 100,000 contributing members. Classical WETA 90.9 FM brings classical music, concerts and specials to Greater Washington. WETA Television broadcasts on four channels: WETA TV 26, WETA HD, WETA UK and WETA Kids. WETA Television celebrates the people and history of this region through programs such as WETA Around Town, WETA Extras and The WETA Guide.  For national PBS audiences, WETA produces PBS NewsHour; Washington Week with Gwen Ifill; films by Ken Burns such as The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, premiering Fall 2014; and performance specials from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Embracing the educational mission of public broadcasting, WETA creates leading public service websites such as www.ReadingRockets.org, www.LDOnline.org, www.ColorinColorado.org, www.AdLit.org and www.Brainline.org; and develops community outreach programs to engage people of all ages in the joy of lifelong learning.  The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia.  More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at www.weta.org.

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Mary Stewart
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